Thursday, November 17, 2005
It was a very hard frost last night and the garden looks better than it has for a month or so!
I welcome it as last year we had a problem with tulip blight - a fungus which thrives in warm wet winters and which distorts the leaves and blotches the flowers of tulips.
You can't do anything organic to treat the problem (though there are professional chemicals available) so I pulled all the bulbs and binned them last year and will be planting this year's bulbs in a different part of the field. I am also going to plant the bulbs very late so that the frost gets a chance to kill any possible spores. In the past I have planted tulips as late as January and they have still flowered on time in the spring.
We are in mourning for our chickens - on Tuesday night at dusk they were ambushed by a fox and all but one chicken and one duck have been killed. The survivors are very stressed and the poor duck wanders around quacking for its friend. This is the first fox that we have encountered but it will now be a constant problem so building a better run is on the to-do list. We had been about to take delivery of three young Indian Runner ducks - thank goodness we decided to put it off for a week or two.
Linen garden kneelers with waterproof lining and handles - £12.50. These are the kneelers that I use - tough enough for muddy borders but pretty enough to hang up by the back door.